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Issue 10, 2012
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Hydrophilic poly(triphenylamines) with phosphonate groups on the side chains: synthesis and photovoltaic applications

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Abstract

Two triphenylamine-based homopolymers PTPA-EP and PTPA-PO3Na2, comprising diethyl phosphonate and sodium phosphonate end groups on side chains, respectively, were synthesized. The UV-vis absorption and photoluminescence (PL) properties of the PTPA-EP and PTPA-PO3Na2 are mainly determined by the conjugated poly(triphenylamine) main chain. The PTPA-EP and PTPA-PO3Na2 possess comparable HOMO levels of around −5.03 eV. The PTPA-EP, with better solubility than PTPA-PO3Na2 in hydrophilic solvents, was utilized as cathode interlayer to construct efficient bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic cells with a low bandgap poly(2,7-carbazole) (PCDTBT) as the polymer donor and [6,6]-phenyl C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) as the acceptor. The work function of ITO was shifted to −4.3 eV by PTPA-EP, which matches well with the LUMO level of PC71BM for good electron extraction. Inverted solar cells with a device configuration of ITO/PTPA-EP/active layer/MoO3/Al exhibited a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 4.59%, which is a good efficiency among inverted solar cells with an organic interlayer on an ITO cathode. The PCE shows a 79% increase in comparison to that of a bare ITO cathode, though the efficiency is lower than 5.13% for an inverted solar cell with an inorganic ZnO interlayer on ITO. Moreover, a conventional solar cell with a device configuration of ITO/PEDOT:PSS/active layer/PTPA-EP/Al could show a better PCE of 5.27%. The results indicate that PTPA-EP is a promising new cathode interlayer for high efficiency inverted and conventional solar cells.

Graphical abstract: Hydrophilic poly(triphenylamines) with phosphonate groups on the side chains: synthesis and photovoltaic applications

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Article information


Submitted
03 Oct 2011
Accepted
15 Nov 2011
First published
06 Jan 2012

J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 4329-4336
Article type
Paper

Hydrophilic poly(triphenylamines) with phosphonate groups on the side chains: synthesis and photovoltaic applications

X. Xu, Y. Zhu, L. Zhang, J. Sun, J. Huang, J. Chen and Y. Cao, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 4329
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM14970A

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